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I just found out that I am not Jewish, should I stop living as a Jew?


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Rabbi Shlomo Chein: Welcome. I'll be with you in a moment...what's on your mind?

Jon: i just found out that i am not jewish. i was raised in a jewish home but, apparently, my parents adopted me when i was 8 months old and never converted me

Jon: i now live as a jew and don't know what to do

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: and how old are you now

Jon: 24

Jon: should i stop living as a jew or what?

Jon: should i go to a Beit Din [Ed. note: Rabbinical court]?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: it is your choice - you need to think about it and decide what you want to do. You have no obligation to live as a Jew since you are not Jewish. However if you find that you want to live as a Jew than you should convert within the standards of Jewish law and be a Jew

Jon: of course i want to live as a Jew!

Jon: i am studying now for smicha [rabbinical ordination]!

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: then no worries my friend.

Jon: nobody knows my secret. i only found out last year

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: so where are you studying

Jon: I don't want to say

Jon: It is a yeshivah

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: ok - that is all I need to know ( i don't need to know which one)

Jon: i am afraid to tell anyone

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: is there anyone there you feel comfortable with to talk to about this

Jon: not really, nobody knows and i have hid it for almost a year

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: here is the deal:

Jon: yes?

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: it is no big DEAL

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: if you are sure you want to be Jewish, you simply will go thorugh a quick conversion process and you will be as jewish as Moses

Jon: I know, I know. but then i have to tell someone

Jon: i am hoping that perhaps i could do this outside of my community

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: ok, that is an option as well

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: however you will need to have one rabbi in the community to vouch for you to the new beit din

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: if you just walk up to a beit din and say you want to convert they might give you a hard time, and it will take a long time

Jon: so i have to tell someone

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: if you want to go quick an d easy it would help if you told someone, someone you can trust!

Jon: good point

Jon: ok, well talking to you made me feel a bit better.

Jon: thank you

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: sure... all the best

Ed. note: Also read "Why should I choose an Orthodox conversion?"

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.


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Jewish Identity » Conversion

[Hebrew pronunciation: Moshe] Greatest prophet to ever live. Led the Jews out of Egyptian bondage amidst awesome miracles; brought down the Tablets from Mount Sinai; and transmitted to us word-for-word the Torah he heard from G-d's mouth. Died in the year 1272 BCE.
Beit Din
(Lit. House of Law). Rabbinical court.